I’m not normally fond of diamonds on watches. Not even on ladies’ watches. Most brands add a splash of diamonds around the bezel or dial in a weak attempt to disguise their mediocre designs or use it as an excuse to jack up prices. That said, I do appreciate watches for which gem-setting takes center stage, when gems are used to affect design in a certain way. An example of how diamonds can be used exquisitely is found in these new Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye High Jewelry watches.
Girard-Perregaux will not be offering fixed versions of Cat’s Eye High Jewelry watches. Instead, buyers will be able to customize these watches to their heart’s content, thereby ensuring exclusivity. As part of the process, customers will be able to select their case material, diamonds, and design. That said, Girard-Perregaux did present us with what it calls a “hero” piece (the watch above), which is the watch we will discuss and describe here. The brand also provided renders of what is possible with their customization service (all the other watches).
The Cat’s Eye High Jewelry watches will come in the signature ellipse case that has come to define the long-running Cat’s Eye collection. The “hero” piece we will discuss here comes in white gold and is set with 23 diamonds (1.7 carats) and 54 blue sapphires (3.95 carats). Case size is a very reasonable 36mm in diameter and 31mm from lug to lug.
The dial is entirely set with diamonds and precious stones. The example we have here is made up of 286 diamonds (2.05 carats) and 40 blue sapphires (0.92 carts). An impressive mix of baguette, trapeze, and brilliant-cut diamonds and stones are used to achieve the design. It looks simple, but it actually requires sourcing diamonds that of the correct quality and size. For example, look at how the color of the blue sapphire stones gets more intense as we move further away from the center of the dial.
Near the bottom is an elliptical subdial that is shaped similarly to the case. The time is told using the white gold hour and minute hands. At 6 o’clock, you have a simple Girard-Perregaux logo and a reminder that the company was founded some 228 years ago.
Through the case’s display caseback, you will find the caliber GP3300. Fittingly, the caliber GP3300 is an in-house self-winding movement. And it is used in other forms in other Girard-Perregaux watches, such as the Laureato. Movement decorations include Côtes de Genève, circular graining, and beveled bridges. Lastly, it beats at 4Hz and has a power reserve of at least 46 hours. Caseback images are yet to be released, but should we get the chance to do a hands-on review, we’ll be sure to share them with you.
As popular as diamond-encrusted timepieces are, they can sometimes be somewhat gaudy. However, the way these watches are decorated thoughtfully accentuates the design. Unsurprisingly, the ability to customize your own design and the use of quality stones is never a cheap endeavor. The “hero” Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye High Jewelry watch that is shown at the top of this post is priced at $319,000. Obviously, prices will vary depending on the complexity of design and the choice of diamonds and stones. Go to girard-perregaux.com to learn more.